Oh boy, I hope you’re thirsty this week! We are covering all things… HYDRATION!
I didn’t get any feedback about last episode so either my singing scared y’all off or you decided it was worth pushing through to get to the rest of the podcast. I must say, I really liked the four quick tips style. I will probably keep that instead of only boring you with my training on those short pods. I will probably sprinkle my training in some episodes as it relates to the topic at hand.
Lastly, our schedule will be a little off for July due to the Monday holiday. The podcast will be dark for two weeks, June 27th and July 4th, and be back for our track workout on July 11th. Then it should be back to every other week, at least for July and August. Looking ahead it seems Labor day will also be a day off for me.
Lets head into the long run. We are going to chat hydration. It’s summer, at least here in the northern hemisphere, which means warmer temps. For some warmer is like high of 80. For the rest of us? We get those lovely 115 degree days with overnight lows in the 90s.
To say hydration is important is an understatement!
I am gonna add that even in colder, winter temps, hydration is still important. It might look different than it does in warmer months.
And remember, I’m not an expert and I’m not a doctor. It’s important to do your own research and check with your doctor. I’ve figured out over the years what works for me. But what works for you may be different. It’s kinds trial and error for this kind of stuff. So much depends on your own body. How much do you sweat? Are you a salty sweater? Where do you live? Is it dry or humid? Is it hot? Are you running early or late? I can’t give you an exact strategy because it reall does… JUST DEPEND.
Hydrating starts before you even step out the door for your run. Everything you eat or drink can have an affect on your hydration levels. And staying hydrated is essential to keep your body running, even if you aren’t running!
How do you know if you are hydrated or dehydrated?
The most obvious one is are you thirsty? Do you have a dry mouth or throat? Also, check your pee! Burnt orange color and strong smelling pee, like when you first wake up, is a sign you are dehydrated. Drink a lot of water. Amber means you are mildly dehydrated, drink some more water!. Light beer color? You are hydrated! But don’t stop drinking! And lemonade is optimal hydration. You good. If it’s clear? STOP!! You are getting overhydrated.
What to do before your run?
I know there is all this talk of ideal times and amounts of water to drink before your run. Most articles I’ve read say to have like 16 ounces two hours before. That’s cute. I don’t know about you but I’m not getting up at 2:30 am to drink water two hours before my run. If that’s what you want to do, more power to you!
For me, I get up, drink maybe four ounces of water, have a snack, get dressed, and sip anouth four-ish ounces. This works well for me BUT I make sure I drink water throughout the day and while running, even when I only go out for three miles, I take water. This works for me. It may or may not work for you.
Sometimes, if I have time, I will do a pre-run hydration drink. There’s powders you can buy or you can be real awesome and make your own. Don’t ask me for a recipe because I just buy shit. I don’t have time to be making homemade stuff! The idea of these powders is to prepare yout body for a workout, much like a weightlifter might do creatine or pre-workout.
What to do during you run?
For shorter runs, you probably will only need water. Even in summer. Think anything an hour or less. But you know, you do you boo. When you start getting into those long runs be sure to add in something with electrolytes. There is probably about a billion brands out there. You got the grocery store standards like gatorade and powerade. You can get more speciality ones like honeystinger, nuun, and scratch just to name a few. Some of these brands will also have options with more calories and carbs for those long run days.
After years of running and hiking, I’ve got my plan on hydrating during runs. This may or may not work for you. I have found the easiest way for me to keep up my hydration during runs is to sip every mile. It’s easy to remember because my watch buzes. I started doing this after reading you should drink every 15-20 minutes. Pfffft, like I would remember that. I am not good at eating every 60 minutes either. I need everything in miles, not minutes. And my fastest mile was like 9:50. Sooooo, usually around average 12 minute miles. So yah, a little less than the recommended time but it works!
On longer runs, I alternate sips of water and some kind of drink mix. My hydration plan also works with my fueling plan on long runs. I sip water at mile one and then every even mile after that. I sip drink mix every odd mile, starting with mile three. I also eat every four miles and usually water is recommended with fuel so there’s that. Now, trail running? I fule every three miles (or try to) so I switch to water for all odd and drink mix for even.
This might be too much water for you. Or not enough. Yup, it’s a pain in the ass but you’ll figure it out. I believe in you!
What to do after your run?
Some people do the weigh themselves before and after a run to know how much fluid they have lost. And then drink whatever amount to rehydrate. It’s too much math for me and I never remember to do one of the weigh ins when I act like I’m going to do this. The most basic info I can find that isn’ involving calculating sweat rates is to drink 20 ounces for every pound lost.
I usually drink some water immediately when I return home, maybe four to eight ounces then continue to sip throughout the day. If I’m feeling a little more thirsty, my throat is a little more dry, maybe I have a slight headache, especially after a warm weather run, I will do a rapid hydration mix or even just an extra electrolyte drink. It usually helps me feel hydrated again.
While dehydration isn’t fun in the summer, we also need to be aware of the opposite issue that can cause numerous problems, overhydrating or hyponatremia. Which basically means you’ve had too much water and not enough sodium (hence why those electrolyte drinks are important when you run long!) Who knew drinking too much water could be a bad thing? I had never heard of this until a few years ago. Ok, it was probably longer than a few but it wasn’t something I ever remember learning about being an active person my entire life. We were only ever told to drink water and electrolytes when it was hot.
How do you know if you are overhydrating? Remember that scale trick? Did you gain weight? You may be drinking too much. According to Mayo clinic some symptoms of hyponatremia are: Nausea and vomiting, Headache, Confusion, Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue, Restlessness and irritability, Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps, Seizures,
and Coma. Treatment is usually cutting back on drinking. If symptoms are bad or not going away you may need to seek medical help for things such as an electrolyte solution or other medications.
As runners, we will probably need to worry more about being dehydrated than overhydrated. Something to keep in mind as you try to balance between drinking enough and drinking too much!
I mentioned drink mixes. Currently I use a mix of honey stinger, skratch, and nuun. I was previously a nuun ambassador and am currently a honey stinger ambassador so that is why I use those. I decided to try skratch once after getting a coupon to try from a strava challenge.
I am thinking of doing a taste test slash review of these and other brands as a video. But I want to know… what brands and flavors do you want to see me test?? Most, if not all, hydration mixes are gluten free. At least that I have come across so far. I can’t guarantee they all are but if they are gluten free I will try them so you don’t have to. If you have one you want me to try send an email to jenna at runs on espresso dot com.
Whew! Now that we’ve hydrated through our long run we can have a nice little cooldown.
I think fiction books have gotten me back into reading. I’ve finished two books since Run Rose Run and am flying through a third. I’ll probably actually be done with it by the time this is live.
First I read Tiny Pretty Things, which is actually a YA novel. And now a netflix show. I haven’t watched the show yet but I will probably at some point. Tiny Pretty Things focuses on 16 year olds at a prestigious NYC dance academy that feeds dancers to their Company. These children live and go to school at the dance academy. They spend 24/7 at this place. And it’s competitive. Which leads to lots of drama, harassment, and bullying. It starts and ends with drama! (To not give away too much in case you want to read or watch). Overall I gave it three stars which for me is a good book but nothing I would re-read and might recommend depending on the person.
Since Tiny Pretty Things is the first in a duology, I checked the library for book two Shiny Broken Pieces. They only had it as an audio book, which I haven’t really enjoyed in the past. But I didn’t want to buy the book so I thought I’d give it a try. This audio book was actually much easier for me to follow. I don’t know if it was the ADHD meds or the fact that I had read the first book so knew the style and characters already or both. I’ll have to try some other audio books to test the theories. This book was much of the same and the ending was predictable but satisfying.
As of this writing I am over half way through The Book Woman’s Daughter. It’s a fairly new release and the second book in a duology. The first book is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I would definitely recommend the first one and most likely, like 99% sure, I’d recommend book two. It’s a fiction book but the story is based on real life. Way back in the day in Apalachian there was a program where woman would ride and deliver library books and other materials to people that couldn’t, for many reason, go to school or get to town. The main character in the first book has a genetic condition that makes her skin blue. There really is (was?) a family that had the condition. It’s very fascinating. I had to research all the real stuff while reading.
For TV I’ve been watching the new Obi-Wan series on Disney+ and really want to start the new Hulu docuseries Keeper of the Ashes. Oh, and the ending of Barry! Anyone else watching this? I believe HBO has already said there will be a season four. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Ok, that is everything I have for you today. What are your favorite sports drinks? What brands/flavors should I try? Lemme know!
Until next time, may your runs and coffee be strong!
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